Michigan finished their regular season with a 37-7 loss against rival Ohio State on Saturday.
Today, athletic director Dave Brandon told the media that he is sticking to his timetable on what he should do with head coach Rich Rodriguez.The Wolverines will go to a bowl for the first time in two years. But is it enough?
They haven’t been competitive against their rivals during Rodriguez’s tenure at all.The athletic director has a decision to make after their bowl game, and it will be tough.
Why Rodriguez Should Stay
First, Rodriguez should stay because he is finally making progress with his recruits on the field. He has recruited his players for his system. They played a full season this year, and produced wins.
With his players, they will be better experienced next year for a tough Big Ten schedule. Plus, Rodriguez has a strong recruiting class for the 2011 season already built.
What would that tell the recruits and his fellow players now?
Second, it’s not all his fault.
He runs the offense, and they have produced huge numbers this season. They rank 23rd overall in points for with 34.3 ppg, 11th in rushing 251.1 ypg, and 34th in passing with 249.8 ypg.
All of those are good numbers.
However, when you look at the defense, they rank 102nd in points given up with 33.8.
Defensive coordinator Greg Robinson had a young defense, but rarely could come up with stops. The biggest was against Illinois in triple overtime.
Michigan would be smarter if they hire a new defensive coordinator and stick with Rodriguez. His offense is starting to work, and produce wins and points.
Third, can three years really judge a coach’s performance?
Not really, because most of your recruits do not start excelling until the third year. This could help Rodriguez keep his job.
Why Rodriguez Should Go
Michigan fans and players don’t like to lose.
Granted, they won seven games and are going to a bowl this year. But they haven’t been competitive against their rivals.
Second, Rodriguez had a messy situation to start with, and has never really gotten out of it.
Plus, Jim Harbaugh is coming to town this weekend for a reunion and could grab interest in the game, as he has been successful as of late in college football. He is a Michigan grad, and does know what type of football that Michigan likes to play.
Third, Michigan football hasn’t been the same since the days of Bo Schembechler and Lloyd Carr.
Traditions have been put aside.
Also, there have been some allegations from Rodriguez’s tenure as coach.
Granted, most were taken off. But some have affected the honesty of the program by how Michigan is a college football powerhouse from the days of Schembechler, and rarely got any allegations.
Many people didn’t like the hiring in the first place. He had a whole new system that he was bringing in.
This shouldn’t really affect his standing as coach, but you never know.
Let Rodriguez stick around at least another year.
But then again, there are some questions surrounding him that need to be fixed.
Like I said earlier, if I was the athletic director, I would keep him another year and fire the defensive coordinator.
The defense is where the most work needs to be done. However, if they do fire Rodriguez, it will have to be a fast hire so the players can adjust to that coach’s new system.